Summer 2003



Welcome to Three New Members of the Club


Duncan Walters joined the club at the May meeting. He is an experienced detectorist with many years detecting to his credit. He had been a member of the Ashfield Club before.  Bill and Mary Severn joined at the June meeting. They have three years detecting experience and are both armed with a Whites XLT.

Artefact Find of the Year 2002-2003

The shield for the artefact Find of the Year was presented to Jeff Oscroft by the club chairman, Mark Attenborough. The winning artefact was a 1st.- 2nd. century Roman trumpet brooch recovered during a club search in August, 2002.

Coin Find of the Year

Gold Quarter Noble of Edward III 1327-1377

The coin find of the year was awarded to Ron Tansley for his Edward III gold Quarter Noble. A photograph of this presentation appeared in the newsletter, number 8, Spring, 2003. The Quarter Noble was worth one shilling and eight pence (1s. 8d) or in present day money, just over 8p. The name Noble is not thought to have had royal connections, unlike the Crown, but to have referred to the fineness of its gold. It was first issued in 1344 and replaced the Florin or Double Leopard. The Florin did not reappear until 1849 when it was a silver coin worth two shillings.

The Plague In Nottinghamshire

An extract from Bygone Nottinghamshire

A.D. 1646, appears to have been a great year of plague in the county. Many of the inhabitants of Bingham were carried off by this dreadful scourge, and were interred in a large yard at the west end of the town, where human remains have often been found. It visited Newark and added to the horrors of war with which that loyal old town was afflicted. In the register of the parish of Stoke, which embraced the castle and a large portion of the town, occurs the following. "All these names that have ye crosse before them, did dye of ye plague, from which plague the good Lord deliver us." The epidemic appeared in May, and continued with appalling severity until September. Families were rapidly thinned, several of the same household being buried in one day. So fast did they die when the pestilence was at its height, that some were buried on their own land, thus after one death is the entry, " buried in ye field," and after another," buryed in his croft.

" Robert Bagguley, the parish clerk, succumbed, and was buried on the 7th September; a cross of extra size was placed against his name in the register. At the end of this list of fatalities occurs the following, " There dyed in the towne of Stoke, 1646, eight score and one, where of the plague seven score and nineteen, William Lloyde, vicar, 1646." The average deaths of other years in the same parish was only seven or eight persons.

Tradition says the great Plague of London, in the summer of 1665, was conveyed to Newark in some patterns of woollen cloth sent to a draper in the Market Place.    Mr. Dickinson, the historian of Newark, says, "The disease is said to have carried off more than one-third of the inhabitants, and it raged so great a length of time that the streets were entirely grown over with grass. The bodies were not allowed to be buried within the precincts of the town, and a large pit was opened at the south end of Mill-gate, into which the dead and dying were promiscuously thrown by a cart every morning before sunrise."

The same epidemic visited Retford, when, from May 20th to October 10th, 1664, it swept off sixty-six persons.

In 1831, three human skeletons were found in a close at Moorhouse, near Tuxford, where tradition says there formerly were several houses, the inhabitants of which died of the plague. W. Stevenson, 1893.

The Plague Stone at East Retford

The Broad Stone or Plague Stone shown above was sited originally in ancient times area to me east of Retford now known as Domine Cross. This was thought to have been the site of a market

The stone, however, was used for another purpose during the 'Visitations of the Plague' that occurred in Nottinghamshire during the 15th. 16th. and 17th. centuries.

In this picture it can be seen that a man perhaps a relative, town trader or farmer is bringing a pack of provisions for the people on the left and collecting money from the top of the stone. The people are suspected of being infected with the plague. The coins are in a basin carved into the top of the stone. This basin was filled with vinegar or other spirit in an attempt to disinfect the coins.

Other Plague Stones are known in different parts of the country. Notably at Derby Friargate, Chester, Birchall on the outskirts of Leek and Bury St. Edmunds.

Club Membership

The membership of the club is now full with the last three vacancies having been taken up.

If any member of the club receives an enquiry to join would they inform the enquirer that a waiting list exists and that they can be placed on it after completing an application form. The forms can be obtained from the secretary John Gough on request.

He can be contacted by e-mail, snail mail at 76, Park Road» Calverton, Nottinghamshire. NG14 6LF or telephone 0115 8478914.

Roman Silver Ring Found by John Radford at Swinderby

Roman silver finger ring with tapered D-shaped hoop and flattened bezel. The worn bezel has simple hatched borders and an incised inscription. Only two, of probably four, letters are now legible: DM... . Rather than an abbreviated name, this was more likely a dedication to a deity, e.g. D(EO) M(ER)CURIO 'To the god Mercury'. This type of ring is of the 2nd. to 3rd. century

Length 25.07mm. Height 21.03mm. Bezel width 11.02mm.. Internal 20x 17.02mm. Weight 08 grams

On the 10th. of February, 2002, John Radford, together with 6 other club members, attended a search organised by the now defunct Lincolnshire Federation at Swinderby in Lincolnshire. During the search he found a Roman, silver finger ring which he declared as 'Treasure'. A silver groat was found by Andrew Wright, then a member of the Ashfield Club, also a gold chain was found by a member of another club.

Eventually John received the ring back with a disclaimer in the form of a letter stating that the ring was his to do with as he wished. A condition was added to this to the effect that if the ring went abroad it needed an export licence.

Nice find John and an indication that the 'Treasure' process works, although slowly.

Unfair Advantage Protest by AMDC Detectorist

Most members of the club are probably not aware that we have in our midst an electronics expert and ama­teur inventor, namely, our new member Duncan Walters. His most recent, and some say most controversial invention, is the new detector Duncan is using in the accompanying photograph. Members of the club insist that this detector would give Duncan an unfair advantage in the Find of the Month awards. They point out that hoard hunting detectors are banned by the club rules and the new detector should come under the same rule. Duncan is adamant that his detector does not infringe the rules and that his multiple indicating detector is no more a hoard seeker than the Minelab or XLT.

Other successful inventions to Duncan's credit are also detectors but with different targets in mind. The first is a sand detector for detecting sand in the Sahara Desert and the second is a snow detector for detecting snow in the Antarctic Circle.

The metal detector in question is constructed using a Tesoro control box but there the likeness to a Tesoro ends. It is based on the revolutionary Nighthawk Ra­dar System as used by the military. A supplementary feature much used by Duncan is the ability to send e-mails with it in the field.

The following is a brief description of 'Duncan's Dinkum', as the inventor himself has named it. The control box has a square LCD screen which is divided into one inch squares each of which correspond with a one foot area on the 6 foot diameter search head. Each LDC square indicates the position, depth, identity, size and metal of an object detected under it. In the case of gold and silver it can date it to within fifty years!

An unusual searching method is used and the search coil is not swung from side to side as with a conven­tional detector. With 'Duncan's Dinkum' the search head is placed on the ground in front of the detectorist and when switched on the LED panel lights up indicating which squares have finds in them. The LED screen then becomes a touch pad and the detectorist touches the square he is interested in. A corresponding square on the search head starts to flash and the detector enters voice mode with a woman’s voice with a Derbyshire accent informing the detectorist what is in that particular square; e.g. SQUARE B7, GOLD RING, 19 INCH DEEP, 1 INCH ROUND, DATED TO 1500. Each touch pad square the detectorist wishes to dig he touches again and a small jet of white paint is squirted from nozzles under the search head to mark the places to dig. The detector is then moved to a position about two yards to one side and the detecting sequence is started again.

So the jury is out, is ‘Duncan’s Dinkum’ acceptable or not, the verdict is yours. Duncan is offering this model for £3,000 each, the stock is limited so first come first served.

Cumberland Jack

The following is a reprint of an item from Newsletter 6, Spring 2002, about ‘Cumberland Jack’ or ‘Back to Hanover’ coin or counter. At the time of printing the original item I could not find a small Cumberland Jack coin mounted on a tie or cravat stick pin that I recovered years ago. I have now found it and it is shown below in the belief that an illustration is more informative than a description just in words.

‘From time to time detectorists recover small copper or brass coin like objects with Queen Victoria on one side and a figure riding a horse on the other. What they are and an explanation of how they came to be made is as follows:-

Salic Law did not permit a woman to be an heir to titles in Hanover when Princess Victoria succeeded to the British Throne in 1837 on the death of William 1V. These titles, which had been held by kings of the United Kingdom since George 1, therefore passed to the next male heir, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.

He was unpopular in England and it was said that the scars on his face had been caused by his Corsican servant in self-defence, before the Duke murdered him. The Duke is believed to have committed other crimes and, to add to his unpopularity, he was opposed to Parliamentary reform and the emancipation of the Roman Catholics in this country.

Worst of all he had shown himself to be greedy for the British throne and to have opposed the succession of the people's beloved Victoria.

To express public pleasure at the Duke's departure, these TO HANOVER tokens were struck at various times over the next twenty years as a satirical gesture and for use as card players’ counters or gaming tokens. The mounted figure on the reverse is the crowned Duke, who in most versions is shown with the face of a monkey.’

Written by John Gough, Club Secretary

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